child support, settlement agreements, support agreements, property settlements, divorce, judicial decrees, age of majority


Since the enactment of the twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution, most states passed legislation lowering the age of majority from twenty-one to eighteen. A crucial question arising from these statutes is whether they affect or should affect child support settlements which provide for support to the child until he or she reaches the age of majority. This note discusses the key question whether children have a continuing right to support until age twenty-one under settlements resulting from divorce decrees and agreements made prior to the enactment of the new age of majority laws. The note analyzes the conflicts among state court decisions as to: (1) child support mandated by judicial decrees; (2) child support agreements pursuant to separation agreements or property settlements; and (3) child support agreements incorporated into divorce decrees. The note concludes that there is little agreement as to the effect of the age of majority statutes on existing support settlements but suggests that courts should not forget that even person between the age of eighteen and twenty-one are encumbered with numerous economic disabilities.

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Family Law Commons



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